Media type
Moving image
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Media type
Moving image
Place of production
New Zealand/Aotearoa
Production company
Neuline Film Studios
Director: John Gundry
Director of Photography: Leslie Fraser
Scenario: John Gundry
Producer: Robert Steele
Sponsored By: The NZ National Airways Corporation

A promotional documentary on NAC’s air freight service, Freightair.

A mountain with a river in the foreground. A horse’s saddle is attended to. Narrator: “A hundred years ago, before roads were built, New Zealanders transported their goods as best they could. The first roads made communication easier, but it wasn’t until -” (A steam train is shown) “- the coming of the main trunk railways and their probing branch lines that definite links between the growing commercial centres were welded. What had taken months and weeks by the old methods now took only days, Ocean-going and coastal shipping did their part too part too. But the future lay in the sky.” Cloud line from above pierced by mountain peaks. An NAC aircraft in flight. Narration continues: “Passengers and mail began to travel by air. For here at last was the obvious way to speed up distribution. The requirements of commerce were made practicable by the New Zealand National Airways Corporation Freightair Service which operates now from Kaitaia to Invercargill, despatched from, and delivered to, any point in New Zealand.” Close-up of labels on wicker basket: “Immediate! FREIGHTAIR. by NAC Express” and “Air Freight. CHRISTCHURCH.” The basket is pushed away from the camera by a handler a white uniform. The receding basket reveals an [art deco] National Airways Corporation logo on a [hangar] and a waiting plane beside with the livery, “NAC Freightair Service”; the latter two words are in a cursive script. A truck is beside the aircraft and crates are being unloaded into the plane’s hold.

Illustration of aircraft ZK-NAC with a mailbag and crate. Narrator: “At the end of its first complete year of operation, NAC Freightair had carried 100% more tonnage than had been carried by the various private companies in the twelve months preceding the incorporation of NAC.” The mail bag and crate double in size. An aircraft taking off is outpaced by the wing of an aircraft in the foreground. [NAC was established in 1947.]

Narrator: “This fishing fleet at the Bluff has just brought in a full load of New Zealand’s famous oysters. Taken from the beds at Stewart Island late in the afternoon, these oysters will be despatched by Freightair early the next morning and will be delivered, sold and eaten in Wellington and Auckland, Gisborne and New Plymouth, the same night ... It’s the modern, sensible freight service.” Delivery is shown by a “FREIGHTAIR NAC” van, red at the top (with white writing) and blue below. Close-up of large can held in courier’s arm; “Oysters. Perishable ... Rush. Urgent”. A plate of oysters in the half-shell on a [restaurant] table; an oyster is lifted by a fork to the mouth of a mustachioed man facing the camera.

Narrator: “Grown in Auckland, these prized and delicate begonias, can be delivered to buyers 800 miles away on the day of cutting.” A woman in evening dress is presented with a begonia corsage. Narrator: “A choice of many other tropical blooms is thus available to the lass living in the deep snows of the alpine region. She can share with the city woman the pleasure of a fragrant bouquet.” The woman attaches the begonias to her bodice. Narrator: “And very nice too - ah, the begonias. Very romantic. But the romance of Freightair is of speed and air transport.” Aerial shot of Freightair plane.

Testimonials follow delivered by actors. The first is from a manufacturer with a large order to fill but whose lathe “suddenly gave up the ghost. A special piece of equipment had broken. A rather ticklish position, to say the least.” Footage is of machinery being inspected and worried faces across an office desk. “The foremen tried everywhere to get a replacement but couldn’t - not in our city anyway. So he came to see me. He knew he could get another from the South Island, but it would take days to get here by ordinary means and we had to have the order completed by the end of the week. I couldn’t think of a thing that would help us, not a thing. Until I picked up a blotter unconsciously; a bit of NAC advertising. Of course - Freightair!” Close-up of Freightair advertisement which is indeed labelled “Blotter” at top left ....

A truck carrying prize rams bought in the South Island and destined for the Wairarapa backs up to a Freightair plane. The sheep walk down a short ramp and into the cargo hold. “A couple of hours in one of these aircraft from Woodbourne and in next to no time they’ll be chewing that sweet grass of mine,” declares the satisfied ‘farmer’ in voiceover. “I get a lot of my farming equipment by Freightair one way or another, but their stock service is one of the most valuable of all their services.”

Fruit and produce are Freightaired to arrive “fresh and appetising”.

Metropolitan newspapers are Freightaired to service rural areas: “Monday’s paper used to be delivered Wednesday afternoon. Now it arrives the day of publication.”

Narrator: “Not only the news - but entertainment too. Many films and complete theatrical shows come and go by air.” A label reading “Flown here by T.E.A.L and N.A.C” is attached to a (partially shown) film poster for “XIVth OLYMPIAD. The Glory [of] Sport” (1948).

A biplane lands by a rural house. Unloaded cargo includes box labelled “Sherdley British Glassware”. “Landsborough” is indicated on topographic map while the narration talks of communities that can only be easily reached by air.

An NAC Freightair Service plane in flight. Concluding narration: “The big freighters fly over their routes bringing and taking every conceivable type of object, every type of goods necessary for the fortunes and well-being of the people they serve.”